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Sexuality and Power: Learn 6 Ways Body Image Affects Seniors

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Are you satisfied with your body?

Wow, that question opens a big can of worms. If you’re seriously into fitness, the answer “no, I’m not satisfied” may come more easily as most in this category accept constructive criticism as healthy and necessary to goal attainment of a more perfect body.

Others, however, may feel differently and may either shy away from critical physical assessments or may simply say they accept themselves as they are. However, some recent research suggests something much deeper going on.

We judge our bodies mostly by how we think we’re viewed by the opposite sex, according to several recent studies. And although several factors contribute to our body self-image, foremost is the desire for power over the opposite sex. Following are six ways body image can affect us according to one survey:

1)  Size – Men perceive large physical size as powerful, while women see being smaller and more petite as better for obtaining power and influence over the opposite sex.

2)  Satisfaction – Men generally are more satisfied with their appearance and see themselves as attractive to women, even when they’re not in great shape, while women were generally less satisfied with their appearance and desiring to improve it to gain power over men.

3)  Social Pressure – Women feel social pressure to look attractive in order to gain power more than men do as popular culture tends to focus more on glorification of the perfect female body and appearance.

4)  Motivation – Women are generally more motivated to change their appearance by what men think, while men are more motivated by what they think of themselves, suggesting that men tend to already see themselves with the inherent upper hand.

5)  Height – Both men and women agree that the man should be taller than the woman in a relationship, and that the reverse has a negative impact on the relationship’s power structure, i.e. both the taller woman and the shorter man would have less power over the opposite sex.

6)  Physical Standards – Women are generally less concerned about physicality and more concerned about femininity as a power lever over the opposite sex, while men were more concerned a strong physical appearance and overall presence.


2 Responses to Sexuality and Power: Learn 6 Ways Body Image Affects Seniors

  • John Shumate says:

    Thanks for the input, keep in mind these findings were based on a graduate student's survey, so it only represents the views of that sampling population that took the survey.

  • Anonymous says:

    "Recent research?" This seems to have come from a mid-century physch textbook. I don't usually read the blogs, but this one piqued my interest. I disagreed with almost all of it. I don't believe that women feel that being petite or feminine gives them "power over men" or that a taller woman in a relationship would throw off the power balance. And what's with all this "power over the opposite sex" thing anyway? Real research shows that women tend to compare themselves to other women, and that is generally their motivation to approve or disapprove or change their body — not what power they might have over a man if their body appealed to a man. The one thing that did make sense was that women struggle more than men to have a good body image thanks to society's perception of the perfect female body. The rest of the blog was definitely "old school."

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